Category Archives: Strange Phenomena

Los Angeles’ First Snowstorm – 1932

The First Time It Snowed In Hollywood (and Los Angeles)

Hollywood First snowstorm ever Jan 15 1932Hollywood woke up early yesterday morning (Friday January 15)to welcome the first real snow storm in Southern California’s history. Judith Wood, Paramount screen player who is recovering from an automobile accident, forgot the doctor’s orders and dashed out into the storm shortly after five o’clock. (photo – Paramount, January 15 1932)

Los Angeles Times Jan 16 1932 (click to enlarge)

Los Angeles Times Jan, 16, 1932 photo coverage of storm (click to enlarge)

When you think of snow, you usually don’t think of Los Angeles. But 84 years ago today Los Angeles residents awoke and were shocked to discover a city covered in snow.

The surprise snowstorm began at 5:00 a.m. and continued for over two hours. The Los Angeles Times said it was “the first official snowfall recorded in the United States Weather Bureau’s fifty-four year existence in the city.”

Snow had fallen before in Los Angeles but never in measurable quantities. Claude Luce, a Los Angeles resident since 1875,  said he remembered one inch of snow falling in 1880. Continue reading

The Day A Plane Landed On The George Washington Bridge

50 Years Ago Today – How Philip Ippolito Landed His Airplane On The George Washington Bridge

Philip Ippolito and passenger Joseph Brennan Jr. walked away from this emergency plane landing on the George Washington Bridge December 26, 1965. photo: Life Magazine

Philip Ippolito and passenger Joseph Brennan Jr. made an emergency landing on the George Washington Bridge, December 26, 1965. photo: Life Magazine

The world was amazed in 2009 when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed his hobbled jetliner on the Hudson River without any loss of life. It was an incredible feat of savvy piloting.

A forgotten episode of amazing aeronautical maneuvering occurred 50 years ago when on Sunday, December 26, 1965, 19-year-old Philip Ippolito of the Bronx, made a successful emergency landing on the top level of the George Washington Bridge.

Flight path of Philip Ippolito - illustration New York Times

Flight path of Philip Ippolito 1: Plane embarked 2: engine problems 3: GW Bridge – illustration New York Times

Ippolito had rented a 34 foot wide Aeronca Champion single prop plane for $10 per hour for two hours from Ramapo Valley Airport in Spring Valley, NY. He planned on a morning joy ride to visit a former flight instructor friend in Red Bank, NJ. Along with Ippolito was a friend, passenger, Joseph F. Brennan Jr., 39. The pair departed from Spring Valley at 9 a.m.

About 20 minutes into the flight at an altitude of 3,100 feet over Manhattan, the engine began to falter. Ippolito kept trying to revive the engine but it was not working. With the plane losing altitude rapidly and the engine sputtering, Ippolito looked over the icy Hudson River and thought of trying to make a water landing. He asked Brennan if he could swim to which Brennan replied, “Not a stroke.”

Ippolito quickly thought about his options on where to make an emergency landing. The New Jersey Meadowlands, which Ippolito thought would be too soft and swampy from recent rain and the George Washington Bridge looming a couple of miles ahead to the north with relatively light traffic. With no time to lose, Ippolito turned the plane around and headed for the bridge. Continue reading

History Channel – Hunting Hitler (And Ratings)

History Channel Treads Ground Covered Ad Nauseum By Sensationalist Magazine 50 + Years Ago

National Police Gazette cover May 1964, One of many times Hitler was featured on the Gazette cover

National Police Gazette cover May 1964, One of many times Hitler was featured on the Gazette cover

The History Channel has been stretching a not very unique idea into an eight episode program with few surprises called Hunting Hitler.  The premise is that Nazi Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and his consort Eva Braun faked their suicides and fled Berlin in the closing days of the war.

Even before the show aired there have been many people (not just among conspiracy theorists), who believe it is possible that Hitler did not die by his own hand in an underground bunker on April 30, 1945 as widely reported.

Until definitive evidence surfaces on what happened to Hitler, there is only one thing that is certain, unless he is the Methuselah of vile dictators, Hitler is now definitely dead. Continue reading

The Daying Dead Sea In China Is Really A Filthy, Giant Swimming Pool

More Like A Cesspool Than A Swimming Pool, The Daying Dead Sea Is China’s Solution For Its Citizens To “Enjoy Swimming”

chinese pool 3When I first encountered a photograph of the Daying Dead Sea in Suining City, Daying County, China, I had no idea of what to make of it.

My mind conjured up a nightmare scenario like the 1973 film Soylent Green in which overpopulation has been dealt with by turning people into food.

chinese pool 1The Daying Dead Sea is not an aquatic human abatoir. It is a very large indoor swimming pool that regularly attracts crowds of 8,000 or more people. Of course there is absolutely no room to swim and people jam themselves into the water and stand or float on a tube in their one spot.

They don’t need the tubes. The people can effortlessly float because the pool is made up of 43 elements and microelements  to simulate the effects of the Middle East’s Dead Sea where the salt composition is extremely high enabling easy floatation.

chinese pool 4The Chinese Continue reading

UFO In A 15th Century Painting?

A Flying Saucer Or Just A Radiant Cloud?

The Madonna with Saint GiovanninoThe Madonna with Saint Giovannino by Domenico Ghirlandaio 1449 – 1494, is on display in the Sala d’Ercole in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.

The Madonna with Saint Giovannino ufoThere is nothing unusual about the painting until you look over the shoulder of the Madonna and in the right hand corner there is this object:

Now many people who have looked closely at this painting see nothing but a cloud. But there are others who claim that this is an object that is intended to represent some sort of flying object. At first glance it does appear to have some of the characteristics of a flying saucer.

The Madonna with Saint Giovannino ufo 2 Continue reading

It Is Now 88 Years Since Houdini’s Death, And No Word From Him Yet

Houdini, Debunker Of All Psychic Phenomena STILL Has Not Communicated From The Other Side

Houdini Emerges from jail cell

When Harry Houdini claimed he could do something, he would prove it. For instance, he said he could escape from any jail cell, sometimes with multiple gates and holding areas. Here he is seen emerging from a penitentiary holding only shackles and locks next to his near naked body. The demonstration would usually blow the superintendent or warden of the prison away. Before entering the cell Houdini was searched and stripped. How did he escape from all those jail cells?

Usually Houdini opened the lock with a carefully hidden key or pick – use your imagination to figure out where he hid it or click here to find out.  All over the United States and Europe, Houdini performed this trick as a jail breaker hundreds of times and it rocketed him to fame. The one thing Houdini couldn’t escape was death.

On Halloween in 1926 Houdini died. He promised his wife Bess Continue reading

A New Yorker Entertains Her Tourist Friend And Finds Her Missing Brother – 1905

Places A Tourist Should Go in 1905? Bellevue And The Morgue.

1st Ave. 26th Bellevue Hospital postcard circa 1912

Visiting New York City today there are things that most tourists go and see: The Empire State Building, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty and other typical touristy places. A hundred years ago you might be surprised at what sights people would go and visit. In 1905 for one New Yorker, Miss Laura Magner, taking an out-of-town friend to Bellevue and visiting the morgue seemed like an interesting, if not macabre way to spend the day.

They say truth is stranger than fiction, so we’ll let The New York Evening World of September 11, 1905 pick up the rest of this strange story:

SAW PICTURE AT MORGUE OF DEAD BROTHER

Miss Magner, Showing a Friend the Sights, Identifies Photograph.

This isn’t a very big world since the railroad, the telegraph and the telephone annihilated distances, but here is the strange story of what happened at the points of a triangle with sides only a mile long.

On Feb. 26, 1904, the body of a young man was found on the doors of No. 269 Ninth Avenue, dead. No one knew him. At the morgue the body was photographed and a complete description taken. The breast and arms were tattooed with the form of a woman, the emblems of Faith, Hope and Charity and the initials “J.M.”

After a few days the unidentified body was burled In Potter’s Field, where it has lain for nineteen months. Last Saturday Miss Laura Magner, of No. 354 West Forty-sixth Street, who was entertaining a visiting friend from out-of-town, took him to see Bellevue Hospital and the Morgue.

Continue reading

Why Are There Annoying Flies At Jones Beach Field 6?

Is There Anything You Can Do To Keep The Flies Off Of You?

Jones BeachIn the summer if you ever go to Jones Beach in Long Island, especially the often filled popular field 6, you will notice one of two things, there are hundreds of flies swarming around and biting you or there are none at all. I have spent an inordinate amount of time swatting and killing flies as they relentlessly bite away.

So why is this?

The answer lies not in the temperature, the food you bring with you, your choice of sunscreen or fly repellant.

The swimming flags hold the key. Continue reading

Man Eats Light Bulbs (And Other Delicacies) – 1939

Harold B. Funston Demonstrates An Unusual Talent For Tolerating Pain

Harold B Funston eats light bulbs 1939

New York City– Harold B. Funston, accounting machine mechanic of Columbus, Ohio brought to New York for an appearance on a radio program, eats glass from a light bulb in a demonstration of his unique hobby — that of emulating the mysteries of the East Indian Fakirs. Credit line (Acme) 2/21/39

The radio program mentioned above was a CBS show, “Dave Elman’s Hobby Lobby.” In rehearsals, Funston amazed Elman, Radio Guide reporter Martin Lewis and the studio audience by chewing up and swallowing six razor blades, which he downed with a glass of water.  He then proceeded to eat some light bulbs.

Funston puts red hot soldering iron on tongue 1939 watermarkedFilm footage exists of Funston eating razor blades; putting fire in his mouth; and laying on a bed of spiked nails as another man sits on him. He also extinguishes a lit cigarette with his tongue.

Here is another Continue reading